Oracle RAC on NetApp FlexPods

This topic was created by Chris Mellor 1 .

  1. Chris Mellor 1

    Oracle RAC on NetApp FlexPods

    Here's a mail I received about this story:-"NetApp and Cisco waggle shrunken ExpressPod at Hitachi and friends"


    [Re] your article about FlexPod. Although I find Oracle's support of RAC on VM to be a massive step forward I also see it as slightly underhand. They still do not support processor pinning in any other virtual environment other than their own so in my view the support of RAC is negated by still requiring to licence every core in your VM farm or buy a site licence. Where I work we have been forced down the OVM\OVS route for this very reason. We do however run a mixed environemnt and with the current state of OVM\OVS I would much rather stick with physical tin for Oracle and a VMware farm for the rest. Unfortunately due to our requirments to stand systems up rapidly, etc. we have had to go down the OVM\OVS route.

    What are your thoughts?


    Indeed, what are your thoughts? Physical or VMware virtual tin for Oracle?


  2. flashdba

    Oracle RAC - a technology without a use case

    Oracle RAC was originally created as a scalability solution, the idea being that you could scale out using multiple nodes with "near linear" performance. It was also designed to offer high availability, but that was secondary - here is the description from the Oracle 9i RAC Concepts guide where the technology was introduced:

    "With Real Application Clusters, you can scale applications to meet increasing data processing demands without changing the application code."

    Anyone who has worked with RAC knows that it's nonsense to say you don't need to change application code. And as large x86 servers have become available and relatively cheap, the need for scalability through RAC has waned, so Oracle now presents it primarily as an HA solution. But it isn't ideal for HA because it introduces so much more complexity - the enemy of availability. Almost nobody has an application which uses TAF and FAN to ensure that users don't get kicked off when a RAC node fails; the majority of customers just restart their middle tiers to cope with a node eviction or crash.

    And it's expensive too. Really expensive. So with virtualisation technology becoming increasingly used with production databases, what's the use case for RAC now? Oracle is nowhere in the hypervisor space, with OVM having less than 1% of the market according to IDC. This is why Oracle had to come up with the Pluggable Database feature of 12c, implementing a feature that SQL Server and other databases have had for years.

    I'm sure that someone on here will seek to disagree, but I can't see a future for RAC. Oracle's licensing policy around virtualisation is an attempt to hold of the inevitable onslaught as more and more customers start running production databases on VMware, with all of the HA, scalability and management features that come associated with such an environment.

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